THE Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Honiara would like to explain its government’s position on the award rendered by the tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague concerning the South China Sea arbitration brought by the Philippines.
The ROC government stresses that it is entitled to all rights over the South China Sea islands and their relevant waters in accordance with international law and the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The arbitral tribunal in the Hague did not invite the ROC to participate in its proceedings, nor did it solicit the ROC’s views. Therefore, the award has no legally binding force on the ROC.
The decisions of the tribunal have seriously undermined the rights of the ROC over the South China Sea Islands and their relevant waters, especially declaring ROC-governed Taiping Island to be a rock.
Taiping Island was not originally included in the Philippines’ submissions for arbitration.
Further, Taiping Island is an island occupied by life and the ROC has military base there. Therefore, it is not fair to say it is a rock that won’t sustain life as claimed by the Hague.
The ROC government urges that disputes in the South China Sea be settled peacefully through multilateral negotiations.
The ROC is willing, through negotiations conducted on basis of equality, to work with all states concerned to advance peace and stability in the South China Sea.
By OLIVER WENG
The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Honiara